Or rather, “Hey Chinese Communist Party and your entire array of servitors, ass-wipers, and fellators!”
You’re not even worth my time this week. When you decide to act like civilized people, maybe I’ll give you a lesson or two in how non-barbarians behave.
(Or, Whoever Has Their Hand Rammed Up That Putrefying Meat Puppet’s Ass)
You and yours have caused a lot of injury. Literal injury with your war on people who don’t want to take an untested vaccine. When people die in an emergency room because a hospital won’t admit them because they haven’t had their clot shot, that’s a crime.
I’m going to address here the insult on top of the injury, because I am among the insulted. I still have my health but apparently you want me to live under the 8th Street Bridge (which actually isn’t on 8th Street, but whatever, that’s what the I-25 overpass over Cimarron is called), so maybe if you have your way that won’t be true for long. Dreadful time of year to become homeless.
No, you’re just trying to make me unemployed, because I won’t take your fucking shots.
Well, that threat is NOT going to work. I. Won’t. Take. Your. Fucking. Shots.
And neither will any of my coworkers who haven’t already had them…and those people who got the shots are a small minority. Most of those got the shots before we began to understand how nasty they truly are.
One of my coworkers was thinking he might have to knuckle under at least until he found another job…but don’t you even think (you do sometimes think, don’t you?) of finding that encouraging.
Don’t think that, because his resolve has hardened.
You Chinese-bought ratfucking traitor.
I would love to see you die an agonizing, humiliating death. (This isn’t a threat, because I am not threatening to cause that death. I am just announcing my intention to party if it happens.) It would be just recompense for the way you’re killing America…and millions of Americans.
Joe Biteme, properly styled His Fraudulency, continues to infest the White House, we haven’t heard much from the person who should have been declared the victor, and hopium is still being dispensed even as our military appears to have joined the political establishment in knuckling under to the fraud.
One can hope that all is not as it seems.
I’d love to feast on that crow.
(I’d like to add, I find it entirely plausible, even likely, that His Fraudulency is also His Figureheadedness. (Apparently that wasn’t a word; it got a red underline. Well it is now.) Where I differ with the hopium addicts is on the subject of who is really in charge. It ain’t anyone we like.)
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system.
Nothing else matters at this point. Talking about trying again in 2022 or 2024 is hopeless otherwise. Which is not to say one must never talk about this, but rather that one must account for this in ones planning; if fixing the fraud is not part of the plan, you have no plan.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
Kitco Ask. Last week:
This week, markets closed as of 3PM MT.
A general decline except in the more obscure platinum group metals (palladium and rhodium). Was that big breakout just a flash in the pan?
XXIX Where did the Helium Come From?
You have actually seen the Cosmic Microwave Background.
About ten percent of TV static is actually the cosmic microwave background, being picked up by your TV set’s antenna.
OK, on to this week’s edumacation.
I dropped this into Part XXII on Powering Stars.
We know, now, that intergalactic gas consists of about three quarters hydrogen and one quarter helium. This gas is hot enough to radiate in X rays, but we can analyze the spectra.
There is only a trace of lithium in this gas, maybe a tiny bit of beryllium, and absolutely nothing else.
This is gas that was never part of a star. This is the original composition of the universe. [At least, as far as ordinary matter goes…but THAT is a future story.]Part 22
…and it turns out this is a big clue.
I also mentioned, in part XXVII on the Cosmic Microwave Background, that Alpher and Gamow had predicted the cosmic microwave background on the basis of other work they were doing.
I’m now going to discuss that “other work.”
The best info I can find on the abundances of elements in the universe, before stars formed and started making heavier nuclei, is that, by weight, the universe is ~75% hydrogen 1 (one proton, zero neutrons), ~25% helium 4 (two protons, two neutrons), 0.01% each of hydrogen-2 (also known as deuterium, one proton, one neutron), 0.01 percent of helium-3 (two protons, one neutron), and 0.1 parts in a billion of lithium-7 (three protons, four neutrons). This is measured in nebulae consisting of gas that has never been a part of a star.
Alpher was a graduate student working on his PhD under Gamow in 1949; and he performed the first theoretical calculations on what sort of “stuff” ought to have come out of the Big Bang.
Gamow, before sending Alpher’s paper in for publication, added Hans Bethe (1906-2005) to the list of authors. Bethe was indeed a well-regarded astrophysicist (he did a lot of the work in figuring out how stars form elements, and would eventually win the Nobel Prize in 1967 for his work), but he had nothing whatsoever to do with this bit of research on the Big Bang. He had no idea his name was going onto this paper.
So why did Gamow put his name on the paper? So that the list of names would be Alpher, Bethe, and Gamow. Which looks a lot like “Alpha, Beta, Gamma” which, before they were Covid variants, were letters of the Greek alphabet, which, back then, every working physicist and astronomer knew (and that’s why so many of those weird baryons in the “particle zoo” ended up with Greek letter names). It sounds even more like it when you consider that the “th” in Bethe should be pronounced like a “t”, German having lost the th sound centuries ago.
What a prankster!
Alpher was not happy; his PhD dissertation now had him sharing credit with two prominent physicists and he feared that people would assume he had done very little of the actual work. Of course, this is now one of the most famous stories of how geeky scientific humor can be, so the truth of the matter is well known.
That first “Alphabet Paper” doesn’t hold up perfectly, because we now know a lot more than we did then, but it’s a major landmark in the history of cosmology. It got the Big Things right.
So what do we understand about this process now?
About one second after the Big Bang, the universe was a very hot, very dense mass of stuff. So hot and so dense even protons and neutrons couldn’t survive; they’d be blown apart into their constituent quarks with all the gluons (strong force carrying particles) being exchanged between the quarks (and the gluons themselves). It’s very hard to force a quark to separate from a proton or neutron; this universe was hot enough, with particles slamming into each other hard enough, that the neutrons and protons couldn’t even form and stay together in the first place. No sooner would a neutron or proton form than it would be smashed apart again.
It was at one second with the temperature about two billion degrees Kelvin and falling, that this began to change. Protons and neutrons could form without being immediately blown apart again. (This is analogous to the formation of atoms at about 300,000 years after the Big Bang; the temperature became cool enough to let electrons orbit nuclei unmolested.) This is called “proton neutron freezeout.” [Note: I am getting inconsistent search results as to exactly when protons and neutrons began to form.]
The ratio seems to have been about one neutron for every six protons. This is because the proton is a lower energy combination and would be formed preferentially.
Ten to twenty seconds later, temperatures dropped low enough that if a neutron got stuck to a proton, it would stay attached. Before this time, an extremely energetic photon was liable to come along and blow the thing apart. But now deuterium (1 proton, 1 neutron) could form.
There’s an important but subtle difference here versus hydrogen fusion in stars. It’s very difficult to form deuterium in a star because there aren’t any free neutrons there. Two protons have to overcome their mutual repulsion, and one of them has to undergo positive beta decay at the same time, to form a deuterium nucleus. This, on average, takes about nine billion years to happen inside of a star.
The reason there aren’t any free neutrons inside of stars is that free neutrons are unstable. They have a half life of roughly 880 seconds, which means in well under one day, they’re all gone. The reactions going on in stars, in fact, don’t release fresh neutrons either.
But right after the big bang, there are plenty of neutrons; they were just formed. And a neutron has no trouble sticking to a proton–there’s no mutual repulsion in this circumstance, it just has to be moving slow enough to stick rather than ricocheting off.
Over the next ten to twenty minutes, just about every neutron was consumed this way, and any that weren’t didn’t last long. In this time some of the neutrons did decay before they could find a proton; so the ratio was now one neutron for every seven protons.
Deuterium is stable–just barely. Nucleons would really rather be part of a a helium 4 nucleus, which can be formed by combining two deuterium nuclei. And indeed, almost all of the deuterium then combined with other deuterium to form helium 4 (two protons, two neutrons). Helium-4 is very stable indeed.
And at this point the universe was already too cool for carbon to form, as it does in older, heavier stars. And after about 20 minutes, it was too cool for deuterium and helium 4 to form; anything that hadn’t found a “mate” by this time, never would–at least not until stars formed.
So with one nucleon (or baryon) out of every eight being a neutron, starting with an original inventory of sixteen particles, there are two neutrons and fourteen protons. The two neutrons (and two of the 14 protons) end up in one helium 4 nucleus, and the twelve remaining protons become hydrogen. By mass, that’s 1/4 helium, 3/4 hydrogen, by counting atoms, on the other hand, it’s 12 hydrogen atoms to one helium atom.
Some helium 3 also formed, but it’s as rare as deuterium that didn’t happen to combine.
A very small amount of beryllium 7 and lithium 7 formed; the beryllium 7 decayed by positive beta decay into lithium 7.
An even smaller amount of lithium 6 is expected to have formed, but the amount is less than we could measure today.
As you might imagine, the original proportion of neutrons to protons matters greatly (if there were more neutrons, more deuterium and helium could form). Another parameter that matters is how many photons there are per baryon. That, in fact, matters a great deal. You can plug different photon/baryon numbers into the theory and get wildly different concentrations of the end products H-1, H-2, He-3, He-4 and Li-7.
This photon-to-baryon ratio is actually usually expressed the other way around; as baryons to photons, and the value that results in what we actually see today is about six baryons for every ten billion photons.
Here’s a chart showing the different densities (hydrogen-1 is not drawn, it’s 1 and everything else is relative to it) versus the photon/baryon ratios.
In this chart the actual values are shown as circles, and they all correspond to the same photon/baryon ratio at the time of nucleosynthesis.
Now most conceivable combinations simply can’t be gotten out of the theory. You can imagine, for instance, there being twenty times as much deuterium as hydrogen-1; but there’s no photon/baryon ratio in the theory that will let that happen. The mere fact that there is a match for four numbers at the same value tells us the theory is solid and hence we can be pretty confident how many photons there were at that time, versus baryons.
This number can be used to determine how much “normal” matter there was in the early universe…and it’s about 5 percent of the critical density. This is strong evidence that most of the total amount of matter we detect by its gravitational effects (about 30 percent of the critical density) is not normal matter, but rather “dark matter.”
Whatever the heck that is.
Back in part 27 I discussed what the universe looked like 300,000 or so years after the Big Bang. Now I’ve talked about 1 second to twenty minutes.
Dammit, Steve, go back one more second! What was going on at zero seconds!? Tell me!!!
Well, I can’t. Nobody can. At least not in any sort of detailed, physical way. To get past 10-47 seconds with even a wild guess, we’d need a quantum theory of gravity…which we don’t have. And the situation isn’t much better for any time before about 10-6 seconds.
The universe changed multiple times in that first second, and (going backwards toward zero) things were at higher and higher temperatures (energies). We have no real way of knowing what was going on at any energy higher than we can generate in particle colliders. (This is yet another reason cosmologists pay attention to particle physics–places like the Large Hadron Collider are the only labs that can reproduce conditions in the very, very early universe. They just can’t go back to zero.) Thus the closer you get to zero, the more and more speculative things get. (And yes, there’s a lot of speculation; but at least it’s educated speculation.)
I normally shy away from the speculative stuff, but I’m going to make an exception here.
Probably the most important speculation is that between 10-36 seconds and 10-32 seconds (in other words, about the amount of time it takes for a RINO to stab us in the back given the opportunity), the universe went through an epoch of really fast “inflation” where it increased in size by at least a factor of 1078. I think that sets a new record for most gigantic number I’ve ever used in one of these posts (other than a passing reference to a centillion, which is 10303). Now this isn’t solid by any means, but such a thing would explain a few things we do see today, quite adequately. For instance, the uniformity of the cosmic microwave background. If inflation happened, then different parts of the universe that (otherwise) could never have interacted with each other did interact with each other, and the universe had time to become nearly uniform in temperature and density. So most cosmologists are pretty confident that this did happen, at least until a better idea comes along. And even if this is the correct explanation, of course the picture gets refined with each piece of new data. And no one really has any solid notion what could have caused “inflation” to happen.
The “Big Bang” term itself is a placeholder for something we’re pretty sure happened…but cannot describe in any kind of meaningful detail. Questions and (largely unbridled) speculation about it abound.
In the meantime, though, we at least have a good, solid notion where all the elements came from. The hydrogen and helium came about mere moments after the Big Bang, and everything else was made in stars or from dead stars. (Even though stars make helium, most of the helium “out there” is still original, Big-Bang helium. On the other hand, the helium here on Earth is not from either source, but rather from alpha decays since the earth formed.)
And we have one more line of evidence for “dark matter.” One that doesn’t depend on our understanding of gravity.
Next: A big surprise.
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for His Fraudulency Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!